Low inventory, new models to boost car sales amid festivity
Carmakers have lined up over half a dozen launches in the next few weeks, timing them with the upcoming festival season to improve their sales numbers.
Country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India has lined up its most anticipated launch of the year, the Baleno, on October 26. The bookings for the premium will hatchback begin on October 14, two weeks before the launch. Other offerings in the next few weeks are Maruti’s Ertiga facelift with hybrid and automatic transmission variants, Fiat’s Punto Abarth and Mahindra S101.
“If we look at SIAM’s September production numbers, they indicate the cars were either sold in the domestic market or exported. It indicates almost full production utilisation, leaving little space for inventory, thus suggesting an anticipated demand. We expect demand to go up in the festive season coupled with new launches like the Maruti Baleno,” Gaurav Vangaal, senior analyst at IHS Automotive, told ET.
In September, a total of 2,89,163 unit of passenger vehicles were manufactured, of this 2,32,167 units were sold in the domestic market while 57,421 units were exported, which means there’s almost no inventory. While in August, 2,89,744 units were produced, of which 2,82,044 units were sold, thus leaving an inventory of 7700 units.
“As we had anticipated, there will be some improvement in the second half of this fiscal — so October, November will be better for sales,” said Sugato Sen, deputy director general, SIAM. So, car makers are expected to increase production in October to meet the demand leading up to Diwali.
“Car manufacturers with recent launches will sell more, especially Renault’s Kwid, Hyundai’s Creta and Ford Figo,” said Gaurav. Kwid has got over 25,000 bookings in within a month of opening of bookings.
However, so far this season, popular models such as Hyundai’s Creta, Honda Jazz, Maruti S-Cross and Mahindra TUV 300 have not been able accelerate demand the way they would be expected. According to the monthly report of SIAM, utility vehicle sales despite new launches recorded a decline of -2.5% between April and September in FY15-16. The overall passenger vehicle segment grew 6.9% in the same period.